‘This has broken all our hearts’: candlelit vigil for Brianna Ghey held in Leicester

By Shaikha Rahimi

A candlelit vigil was held in the city centre to remember transgender teenager Brianna Ghey, who was stabbed to death in Cheshire earlier this month

Brianna’s vigil in Leicester.

Mourners gathered at the Clock Tower in Leicester on Saturday to pay tribute to murdered 16-year-old Brianna Ghey.

Vigils have been held across the UK in memory of Brianna, a transgender girl from Birchwood in Warrington, who was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Linear Park, in Culcheth, Cheshire on Saturday, February 11.

The organiser of the Leicester vigil, Abi – who did not want to share her full name – told Leicestershire Press: “The vigil gave people from Leicester’s trans community the opportunity to pay tribute to Brianna and grieve together.

“The death of Brianna has broken all our hearts, especially of those who are the same age as her. The healing starts now. We won’t forget her and we won’t let hate towards us win.”

Local community comes together to honour and remember Brianna.

Bouquets of flowers were left by the Clock Tower. Many of the well-wishers held signs with messages to Brianna. One read: “Rest in pride.” Another said: “Trans rights are human rights.”

Among those who were present was Zak Fiken, a 21-year-old student at DMU. He told Leicestershire Press: “What we saw happen to Brianna was abhorrent and beyond comprehension. Above all else, she was a girl with her whole life ahead of her, which has now been taken.

“The trans community are some of the most marginalised in our society, and transphobia is becoming increasingly mainstream, Even at the vigil we heard transphobic abuse being shouted at us. Every line used against the trans community today was used against the gay community in the 80s.

“We will continue to fight for trans rights, and let Brianna be the last person to be killed.”

Dozens lit candles to remember the 16-year-old.

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with Brianna’s murder. They appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, February 15, where a trial date was fixed for Monday, July 10.

Following her tragic death, Brianna’s family paid an emotional tribute to her, describing Brianna as “strong and fearless.”

They said that a “massive hole” had been left in their family after her death. The full statement issued through Cheshire police said: “Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister.”

DMU holds vigil for refugees

By Holly Hume

De Montfort University held a 24-hour candle-lit vigil last Wednesday to show solidarity with refugees.


The vigil, held in Hawthorn Square at the heart of the campus, had hour-long slots filled by talks, an exercise class and performances by the choir, among other activities.


A popular element of the vigil was the act of tying ribbons onto the fence outside the Hawthorn building, where many students and pedestrians stopped to tie their support.

Several volunteers were assisting the event, organised by Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard.

vigil 1.png

Michael Hughes, the DMU Rowing coach, attended the vigil.

Mr Hughes said: “As someone who has lived overseas, as someone who’s travelled the world, I’m aware of the amazing diversity of the world and recently with everything that’s been going on, it’s quite important that we appreciate that we’re part of a wider community.”


He added: “I know from being a stranger in a foreign land how over whelming it can be when you’re in a country that you don’t feel welcome in, and I think it’s important for us to get involved and to show that we’re all one world and one people.

“I think it shows that DMU cares about the bigger picture and the world.

“I work here and I was quite surprised and impressed by the diversity of the university in general, and the effort it makes to prove to the world about what it believes in, this is just a great part of that.”

Mr Shellard himself attended the vigil several times to talk to the crowds, tie ribbons and show his support.

The vigil was also covered online by the DMU social media accounts, publishing photographs and details throughout the 24-hour period.